Can you be friends with an ex?

Matthew and I through the years - circa 1991, 1995, 1997

I have this friend. He’s been around half my life. I’ve not seen him in years but he’s close to my heart because we grew up together in many ways.

We were in our twenties when we met, which are such a crucial time in your journey of finding yourself. We weren’t quite mature enough, but just old enough to be out on our own, away from the nest. It was an amazing time and I am happy he was part of mine.

When my friend recently announced his engagement I was THRILLED. I haven’t met his fiancé but I know she’s Good People because – well – he is just a stand-up guy.

I quickly told him wherever his wedding was going to be, I was planning on being there.  Then I received an email: 

“I can’t invite anyone I have slept with. Bride’s rules. Sorry. Do I still get to come to yours?”

I was crushed.

Then I thought about it and realized I completely understood.  The fact that he and I shared a bed together makes things harder in the grown up world.  It’s not fair – and it bums me out, but I respect his lady and I know where she’s coming from.  I wouldn’t want my fiancé to be too chummy with an old lover either.

So I will send a gift and wish them well and remain in contact with him from a distance (Facebook is great that way).

This very topic reminds me of the age-old question: 

Can you be friends with an ex?